OTTAWA – It’s a busy period for Canadians. Halloween is approaching, Christmas is less than two months away, and Canada is still in the grips of a deadly pandemic that’s crippling our economy and constantly in danger of collapsing our healthcare system. You don’t have time to learn about all of the new and returning Liberal ministers, most of whom you’ll never see or hear from again. So here at The Beaverton, we’ve created a quick, easy to digest overview of some of the new Liberal cabinet ministers that you can skim before going back to ignoring them completely until they’re momentarily thrust into the national spotlight as a result of their own incompetence, avarice, or weird sex stuff.
Minister of Defence Anita Anand
Canada’s new defence minister has her work cut out for her after years of scandal regarding the overwhelming amount of sexual crimes in Canada’s armed forces and given the abysmal record of her predecessor, Harjit Sajjan, in dealing with the problem. While cynics might think Anand is likely to be a victim of the “glass cliff” phenomenon, in which a woman is brought in to fix the mistakes of her male predecessors during a crisis and then made a convenient scapegoat when that proves impossible, only time will tell if her name becomes as synonymous with ministerial ineptitude as her predecessor.
Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan
You might be thinking, huh, I don’t know any politicians’ names, but Harjit Sajjan sounds familiar. That’s either because you just read his name in the paragraph above this one, or because as Canada’s last defence minister his unwillingness to take sexual assault in the military seriously constantly made the news. Based on his performance in his last job, you’ll be seeing this name again.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault
This is another name you might find familiar despite paying almost zero attention to Canadian politics. Former Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault made quite the splash this spring when his efforts to push through Bill C-10 proved so utterly inept that Canadians actually found themselves not only knowing who the Heritage minister was, but having an opinion on his job performance. While Guilbeault has a long history of environmental activism, he has a recent history of being a terrible cabinet minister. His is another name you’ll likely be hearing again, possibly very soon as the COP26 climate conference takes place this week and Canada will once again be shunned for our dismal climate record and insufficient climate plans.
Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson
Speaking of Environment ministers and incompetence, former Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson will now be in charge of Natural Resources Canada. As Environment minister, Wilkinson claimed that the TMX pipeline expansion, which will more than double the amount of oil moving through the pipeline, would help pay for Canada’s reduction of emissions. This nonsensical statement, which brings to mind someone attempting to lose weight by paying for a gym membership with the proceeds from daily hot dog eating contests, gives Canadians an idea of both Wilkinson’s critical thinking skills and the likelihood that he’ll be making the news for all the wrong reasons in his new role too.
Minister of Indigenous Services Patty Hajdu
You definitely know this name, since Patty Hajdu was Health Minister during a pandemic in which at least 28,745 Canadians died and the true death toll still isn’t known because no one in a position of power really wants to find out. As Minister of Indigenous Services her name will likely be in the news less, but given this government’s relationship with First Nations, when it does pop up, it’s not going to be good.
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett
How do you know this name? This former Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs was recently forced to apologize to former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould for implying Wilson-Raybould’s criticism of the Liberal response to the discovery of hundreds of children’s graves at a residential school was really about Wilson-Raybould wanting a pension. Someone who displays this level of empathy is sure to make news as they respond to Canada’s ongoing overdose crisis.
This has been just a small sampling of the 38 ministers that make up the new Liberal cabinet, a select few of whom you’ll eventually be able to identify on sight because of how profoundly they bungle their jobs or because despite being one of the myriad ministers responsible for economic development, they have no idea how much a loaf of bread costs.